TOEFL Essay: "An Important Leader"

Hi, I’m just starting to prepare for the TOEFL. Here is my first independent essay. Please score it severely! The question was:
“Leaders like John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King have made important contributions to the people of the US. Name another world leader you think is important. Give specific reasons for your choice.”

A very important world leader has been, and probably still is, Kofi Annan. The Secretary General of the United Nations has had a very great impact in world politics. Even though many think he was much about words and less about facts and effects, he has given the UN a face and a voice, which has been heard all over the world. In a time, when the legitimacy of the UN-system has been under heavy attack by not preventing wars all over the world, he has shown the importance as well of an international forum where state representatives can get together on a neutral ground as of a neutral voice itself, helping to mediate between conflicting parties. Kofi Annan has achieved this by his mixture of neutrality and openness to address difficult problems openly. This culminated in one of his last tasks, the mediation in the conflict of Lebanon in autumn 2006. With the two conflicting parties, Lebanon and Israel and a world not being able to find a solution, he went to the Security Council and spoke to the assembled 15 members in very clear words, telling them that the conflict which caused the death of many people each day, didn’t leave any time for further tactical negotiations. As it was mostly different positions of France, America, Russia and Qatar which prevented to come to a peace agreement, Annan urged the parties to agree at least a armistice. Another very important issue of Kofi Annans work has been Africa. The tragedy of the “forgotten continent” has come to the public mind in the area of Kofi Annans election period. Probably due to his roots in Nigeria, he always put in front the devastating situation of this continent. Part of this work, the millennium goals of the 2000 summit in New York, is the leading document of all the development policies all over the world. These aspect and a lot more, which can’t be summarized in such a short text, make the richness and importance of the work of this man, who probably didn’t change the world in a very visible way, but who has left huge signs in an emerging global public space.



TOEFL listening discussions: A conversation between a student and his counselor